Yes, this post's title is a play on the name of the modern rock band System of a Down. But far more significant for me, it is a tale of what I have been dealing with here in the Blogger Cave (a.k.a. Home Office) ever since I returned from the Von Show in Boston.
So I get home Saturday and attempt to power up my big, monsterous, Windows Media Center PC. Flava Gateway. Not a peep.
Thinking could be a loose cable, I check all the connections, and I do mean all of them. I didn't just feel the connections, I checked them all. We're talking turning around the tower every which way AND loose, crawling under the desk and scoping out every cable that goes everywhere.
I checked w/neighbor: no power surges while I was gone. Plus even if there were, I have a surge protector for that.
My utterances then had less to do with the Gateway cow than owing to descriptor of what is under the cow.
My years of experience have taught me a spot-on check to determine if a power supply is just merely drained, or really, really dead. You take a paper clip, contort it so that its sharp narrow edges protrude, you stick the edge inside the tiny hole just below the DVD or CD-ROM drive. If the drive pops out, that means there is at least a tiny flicker of life in the power supply for that to happen.
But it didn't happen. Not even a little.
I should mention all the peripherals were working like a charm- scanner, printer, even the router lights. So NOT a bad electrical outlet.
Next call, to Gateway tech support to sort it out. $2.95 a minute, BTW. Tech went through a checklist, and after completion of that, we determined most likely a bad power supply.
Since I depend on my PC for a living, I asked for a rush order. Bright and early Wednesday morning, FedEx truck rolls up to the Blogger Cave with a new power supply.
BUT IT WAS THE WRONG ONE!
I wasn't totally sure of this until the Geek Squad guy came and tried to install it. Turns out that Gateway should have sent me a power supply with two, not one SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) connectors. Motherboard has two connectors, that's why.
New power supply with two SATAS, ETA Friday morning.
Add to that, my wireless network has been down until earlier today.
When my wireless network works right, it feeds off my Covad T1 line and my notebook performs at a happy "Speed: 54 Mbps, Signal Strength: Excellent" pace.
But up until the Covad fellow came out earlier, I didn't have any wireless connection. I knew it was my network, because I was able to get a most flicker-y one bar out of my unsuspecting neighbor's unprotected 801.11g.
Not wanting to be a bad neighbor, and finding it impossible to work over a purloined, weak signal, I did the next best thing. I went to a Starbucks down the hill from my cliffside Blogger Cave.
The Wi-Fi worked fine, but gee what a zoo. Wild sax-infused jazz on the P.A. Giggly discussions at the next table. Stop, hey what's that sound? An expresso machine, probably at about 200 db.
I did what I had to, posted what I felt I must, but came back to the Blogger Cave that much more determined to achieve resolution to my tech issues. It was then that I directly went into high gear, making more than a few service calls to prioritize solutions and equipment that would get me back up and running.
Covad on-premise was superb. Turns out the problem was a bad card in one of their routers. Replaced, and now we are humming.
Tomorrow, the replacement, double-SATA Gateway power supply arrives. Or is, supposed to. I suppose I could install it myself, but truth is, I perform far better on computers than in them.
GeekSquad wants $149 and can't do this for that rate until next Wednesday. Not fast enough for my needs. So I have a local tech coming out this Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
Painfully, that appt time interrupts plans for me and the X-chromosomal unit to go to the Portland Art Museum. Instead, a good bit of this forthcoming rainy Saturday will be spent hoping that my desktop will come to life with that new power supply I hope to be receiving tomorrow.
Wish me luck...